It is true! Black lives DO NOT MATTER! Not to American society as a whole. Let me stop and be very clear. There are a great number of white people who genuinely love and support all people, no matter their race, color, creed, or ethnicity, and are sympathetic to the plight of black people in America.
Have you watched a movie and hoped against all hope that the villain really isn’t the villain? You hope that what you are seeing is not really what you are seeing. That is what my experience has been while trying to process the treatment, historically and currently, of black people in America. If black lives mattered, then black people would not have been enslaved, whipped, lynched, and brutalized simply because skin color. I have seen documentaries in which slavery and beatings were justified, because black people did not have emotions and reasoning like regular people. Interesting how that same sentiment was expressed by LAPD Chief Gates years later when he expressed that black people were dying from choke-holds because their arteries did not open as fast as those of “normal people.” If black lives mattered, how could any jury not….nevermind.
New York, Cleveland, Ferguson, Sanford, Fruitvale Station, Charleston, North Charleston, Los Angeles, feel free to insert almost any city in the United States – – excuse me, Divided States has seen black people (who have been unarmed) murdered, while the murderers more often than not are exonerated. If black lives mattered then the widely held consensus would be that justice should be served.
Some people say “Black Lives Matter” is divisive, polarizing, and counter-productive. Some people say that black people should be more outraged about black-on-black crime and homicide, than white/police-on-black homicide since it happens more frequently. Keeping in mind that I do not speak for all black people, let me try to provide a bit of insight. To say that black lives matter is not to infer that the lives of black people are MORE special, precious, and important than the lives of other people, but rather that black lives are AS special, precious, and important as other people. If I say “save the whales”, I don’t mean “to heck with the dolphins”, I just mean that we need to call attention to the plight of whales. Regarding black-on-black crime, I can’t recall anyone who has disputed it is a problem. However it is a problem that exists in addition to the problem of white law enforcement officers murdering black people, not a problem that diminishes or voids it.
The majority of law enforcement professionals are decent people who take their oath to serve and protect very seriously. There are horrible people in every profession (military personnel, priests, teachers, actors, professional athletes, doctors, attorneys, accountants, social workers, financial advisors, and so on), because all people are flawed. The decent people and the hard work they do often get a bad rap for the deplorable actions of some. However, we do a disservice to all – including the upstanding professionals, when we ignore and excuse the inappropriateness of those who have gone rogue.
To be clear, I respect and salute law enforcement professionals, but I absolutely abhor those who use their position to misuse, abuse, and diffuse the lives of others. Black lives did not matter when blacks were brought to this country, black lives currently to not matter, and black lives will never matter. Unless, and until non-black people decide that the disappearance of a black woman is as news-worthy as the disappearance of a white woman, until the beating of a black teen is as horrifying as the beating of a white teen, and until the murder of a black person (most especially an unarmed one) is as devastating as the life of even a dog, gorilla, or lion – much less an white person. Salt is rubbed into the wound when people excuse murder because of the past, social media postings, or clothing choices of the victim. None of that matters, because I would be willing to bet the man who murdered the teen in Sanford, Florida knew nothing of that teen’s social media postings when he took his life.
My heart is bleeding for the state of race relations in America. That blood is not black, white, yellow, or brown, it is red – just like yours. God help us all.